Drug Money

Narcotics task forces in Texas spend millions of dollars each year busting low-level users and dealers. Is it money well spent, or are officers just addicted to easy cash?

Meanwhile, Coleman continues his gypsy ways. He left the Panhandle task force and found new employment with the Southeast Dallas County/Ellis County Task Force in Waxahachie. This past April, however, Coleman was fired. The Amarillo Globe-News quoted Ellis County District Attorney Joe Grubb as saying Coleman's termination did not involve any of his work as an undercover officer. "It involved his relationship with an individual in the community."

In addition to calling for a Justice Department probe of Coleman's actions and last summer's arrests in Tulia, the ACLU also is pushing for federal probes of the task force actions in Brownwood and Brady. What's more, agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation have interviewed former undercover task force officer Barbara Markham about her allegations of at least 150 trumped-up drug charges filed against persons arrested by the Narcotics Trafficking Task Force of Chambers and Liberty Counties. Markham currently works for the small Oak Forest Police Department on Lake Lewisville near Denton. After seven years of going under cover for task forces, she would never work for another one -- even if she wanted to.

"I'm completely blackballed," says Markham, "but I wouldn't work for a task force again."

Editorial assistant Kirsten Bubier helped compile statistics for this story.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
 
Loading...